By John Connolly

OLATHE, Kansas, March 4, 2008 ( – A Kansas grand jury convened to investigate Planned Parenthood for illegal activities disbanded on Monday without issuing any indictments.

The grand jury was seated on December 10, and in January issued a subpoena for medical records of 16 women who obtained abortions at the Planned Parenthood clinic in 2003. Planned Parenthood filed a motion to block the subpoena, a motion that Judge Kevin Moriarty upheld throughout the sparse investigation. On Monday, the grand jury unanimously withdrew the only subpoena it had issued for the investigation.

The grand jury was empanelled to investigate Planned Parenthood for performing illegal late term abortions, failure to report child sex abuse, failure to provide legally mandated standard of care, filing false information with the state, illegal trafficking of fetal tissue, failure to comply with parental consent requirements, and the failure to enforce the required 24-hour waiting period. The jury had only 90 days to complete its investigation, and its deadline is March 10. Judge Moriarty had the power to extend the deadline by 30 days, but any appeal made to the supreme court would likely not be resolved before the time limit expired.

Planned Parenthood was pleased with Monday’s outcome, claiming that they had nothing to fear while they were in Judge Moriarty’s hands.

“That affirms our contention throughout that we’ve had nothing to fear from this investigation,” said Peter Brownlie, president of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. “And we are very pleased that at no point in this process has any identifying information on our patients been turned over to grand jurors or anyone else.”

“The people of Johnson County should be offended that the grand jury made such a mockery of this investigation,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “There is no way that they could have possibly investigated all seven allegations that the voters empanelled them to investigate without inspecting any documents from Planned Parenthood.”

The pro-life groups that gathered the necessary signatures to empanel the jury are currently deciding what the next course of action is.

“It’s shocking that Planned Parenthood was allowed to direct their own investigation and dictate to the grand jury what evidence would be provided, and even how they would be allowed to view the evidence,” said Newman. “The entire process was corrupted, and Judge Moriarty is responsible for that corruption. We are considering the possibility of filing ethics charges against him.”

“For Judge Moriarty to insert himself into this process acting as the gatekeeper and them not seeing the records was very surprising to me – shocking actually,” said Judy Smith, Kansas director of Concerned Women for America. “But having said that, we wanted a jury and we got the jury and we’re glad for that.”

Kansas is one of six states that allows its citizens to petition for a grand jury. Despite the lack of effectiveness of the current grand jury process, Planned Parenthood still faces 107 criminal charges filed by the District Attorney in October 2007. The charges accuse Planned Parenthood of forging, falsifying and not keeping abortion records, and of providing illegal late-term abortions in 2003. The first hearing for those charges is scheduled for early April.

See previous coverage:

Kansas Supreme Court Ignores Kansas Law and Blocks Tiller Grand Jury

Operation Rescue Files to Intervene in Kansas Grand Jury Abortionist Case

107-Count Grand Jury Indictment Against Planned Parenthood Could Open “New Front” in US Abortion Fight

Tiller Grand Jury Convenes, but Pro-Tiller DA Appointed to “Obtain Evidence”